Shawn Kaleta of Beach-to-Bay Construction in Holmes Beach wants to set the record straight about his projects in Holmes Beach, and his involvement with 60 N. Shore Drive in Anna Maria.
He’s concerned that Anna Maria city commissioners enacted a moratorium at their Feb. 24 meeting on construction of new single-family residences over fears the three lots at 60 N. Shore Drive will be developed into multi-bedroom vacation rentals.
Kaleta said that is “absolutely not the case.”
Kaleta said he owns 10 percent of MEK Properties LLC, the company that bought the lots, and they are being marketed to people who plan to live in Anna Maria.
“We’ve already sold one lot to a couple from Tampa who are retiring here. The real estate agent told us the owner has no plans for a rental, but wants to retire in peace and quiet, ” said Kaleta.
The remaining two lots are being sold for single-family homes, Kaleta said, adding it’s “absolutely untrue” that his company is planning houses in Anna Maria that can be turned into vacation rentals accommodating several families or large groups of people at one time.
“I know some people in Anna Maria don’t believe me, but I live in Anna Maria and I love the old Florida atmosphere. I will do what I can to preserve that,” he said.
Considering the current economic climate, Kaleta said, now is “not the time for a building moratorium.”
He noted that no Anna Maria commissioners contacted him about the plans for North Shore Drive. He assumes they made assumptions based on rumor, not fact.
Kaleta said he’s only done three construction projects in Anna Maria the past few years and he is not involved in any way in the project at 207 Palm Ave.
It’s just another assumption some people have made about him and his company without meeting or talking with him, he said.
“I wish people would call me. I’m part of the community. I want to help the community center and the city. My family bought the old Moss cottage on Willow Avenue and we are going to preserve it, not demolish it.
“We could build a new house or develop multiple homes there, but we’re not. We want to keep Anna Maria as much old Florida as possible, given the restraints (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has in place.”
Some Holmes Beach residents publicly chastised him at a commission meeting last year for construction of multi-bedroom duplexes.
But, Kaleta says, since that happened, he has tried to explain his company only built what the owners wanted and what was allowed by city code.
It’s not up to him to judge what the owners intend to do with their structure when they hire him to build, he said.
He said more than 90 percent of homes his company built in 2011 — some 40 projects — were four bedrooms or less.
“It’s what the owners wanted. If I didn’t build it, someone else would. It’s the city codes that determine if what they wanted could be built.”
Any complaints about loud parties and multiple people at a vacation rental should be directed to the owner or rental agent, not the contractor, he said.
He has partnered on some ventures with Steve Hanson, who markets vacation properties, but he is not presently working with Hanson.
Hanson owns Modus Operandi Construction LLC, which is building a residence in Anna Maria.
Kaleta invites people to call him at Beach-to-Bay Construction about his projects and properties.
He says he is not responsible for the construction style of a residence, the number of bedrooms permitted in any Holmes Beach or Anna Maria residential construction, or the rental of vacation properties. Those are city issues.
Kaleta says he builds projects to suit the owner, and the market is driving the changes on Anna Maria Island, not the builders.